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If I search online for my full name...

Displaying poll results.
I get no results
  889 votes / 6%
Some results from people with the same name
  4563 votes / 31%
Some results about me
  3224 votes / 22%
A little bit of both
  3690 votes / 25%
My whole life is out there
  964 votes / 6%
I get a visit from the FBI
  1017 votes / 7%
14347 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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If I search online for my full name...

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  • I'm currently the top hit for Firstname Lastname -- but if you throw in my middle name or initial, I don't show up at all. Surprising considering there are only five people with my first and last name currently alive, one of which shares my middle name. References to dead people with my name tend to show up on the first page.

    • I just tried my "firstname lastname" search (I have a middle name I'm not using so it's only fair to maximize my chances of being found). The first link is someone with the same names, on Facebook, but not me. He looks like an OK guy, though.
      The second link is a collection of images (Google Images), one of them being me, but it's a small, old picture.
      Third link is a news article about someone else, but the last name isn't used as last name there, but the word itself (my lastname is actually a word from the

      • by Cryacin (657549) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @03:48AM (#44306101)
        I put in Max Power and just got a list of hairdryers.
        • Yep. If I search for my "firstname lastname", I get nothing about me, but pages and pages of results for some dork who's long dead, and modern bores with sites about that dork. If I search for my "firstname middlename lastname", then I'm actually on the second page of results at Google (and not anywhere in the Bing results). Of course, if the search includes some terms which are specific to me, then it's more successful.
          • Is that you, count Vlad Dracul ?
            • Is that you, count Vlad Dracul ?

              Nah, Dracula is positively obscure in comparison to my namesake. The name is comparable to "Julius Caesar" in recognizability, in that almost all people in almost every culture are quite familiar with it (yes, that includes the average person in Japan and Brazil and Nigeria and Canada etc.). Impolite persons - mostly Westerners - often ask if (i) the name is real[*], or (ii) if I'm related to the long dead one.

              [*] This question has actually been asked by more than one incredulous passport inspector!

          • by Macgrrl (762836)

            Ten years ago if you searched on something like Yahoo I would have been the first hit because I used to write roleplaying games and run seminars about it. But a number of more 'famous' people who actively farm their reputation have come in and flooded me out of the first half dozen pages and I'm fine with that. Among the various other mes, there's a musician, an artist, a politician and a few others.

            Obliquely I'm actually findable via the second link on the first page, as it brings up a Linkedin search as t

    • Re:"Full" Name (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @06:32PM (#44303433)
      I get mainly mispellings of my first or last name to find other people or businesses.

      The one I though was funny is "". I have a misdemeanor conviction in Texas (a speeding ticket back before they moved to a points system). I can pay them money to have them remove their page dedicated to a (nearly) 20 year old ticket. $30 to remove it from their site, and $50 to remove it from Google. Now, anyone who googles me might find my ticket I beat 20 years ago, for horror. Yes, I beat it and was convicted. Nobody wins in front of the traffic court. So you take the conviction, appeal, then argue your case at the appeal. I won the appeal. Still is a "conviction" and shows on my record as a conviction with status "disposed".

      I didn't realize how much extortion there is out there based on names. And piles of fake social networks with names in it, ancestry sites, and all that. The WWW is 95% scam.

      Though I think I'm the only person on the planet with my first/last combo, though many with one letter different. And more with my middle/last as their first/last that show up if I use my "full" name. The results are more mine if I omit my middle.
    • by Endovior (2450520)
      This is an excellent point. If I search with my middle name, no hits; but I share the firstname-lastname of a journalist, so I get stuff about him if I search like that.
    • by kermidge (2221646)

      With full name including middle, no hits. With middle initial, no hits. With just first and last, pages - and none of them me until something like seven or eight pages in with Google (at twenty-five hits results per page.) Wolfram Alpha says there are about 1900 of me as first-last in U.S. For reasons I don't remember I have an account with LinkedIn and I don't readily show up there either.

      Searching on user name, that's another story: apart from a guy in France whose last mention or post is from three

    • by C0R1D4N (970153)
      "Coridan Miller" is all me. Likely the only one in all history. Without the quotes it tends to be lists of surnames. Auto complete brings up Star Trek though up to Coridan M
    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      My father has the first few links before I show up. One of these days though, I will bring that old man down!
      • If you kill him to do it, then explain that at your trial, I guarantee you'll succeed.
        • by SilentStaid (1474575) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @02:38PM (#44310621)

          If you kill him to do it, then explain that at your trial, I guarantee you'll succeed.

          That counts as SEO manipulation and violates Google's TOS. They'll be forced to put you down, but more news stories will come up about the novelty of it. Google will implode.

          Potential for the most interesting Wiki article, ever.

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      Em, forgot to type due to distraction, but yours is one of the more unusual names I've seen; the results you get seem just plain weird. I don't know how you feel about it, but these days I'd guess a bit of anonymity might be a good thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I search for my name, I trigger the PORN FILTERS

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Your name is "Teen Anal First-Time"?
    • Are you from the Philippines by any chance?

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Are you from the Philippines by any chance?

        Probably Thailand,

        Dr Pornsak in Bang Sue.

        Yes that is a real name (porn is pronounced "pon" for us Farang) and Bang Sue is district in Bangkok.

        • by Cryacin (657549)

          Bang Sue is ... in Bangkok.

          Sounds painful.

        • I was asking because we have quite a few employees from TH and PH having "porn" in their name (e.g. Supaporn, Wanaporn) and for each of them there are explicit exceptions being set up in the corporate firewall and spam filters.

    • So searching for your name brings up the goatse image?

      You poor bastard.

    • What do you expect if you called "Anonymous Coward" ?

  • CV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @05:29PM (#44302647)
    I found my CV online, with address, and phone number. It is from about 20 years ago. I posted it to a news group, Something or other tech jobs. Everyone did it back then. Of course the identity thieves had not found the internet yet.
    I used it as an example to my nephews showing how once something is on the internet it is there forever.
    • by antdude (79039)

      Can't you ask the servers to take them down?

      • Unfortunately if you have owned a land line that was listed or property {like a home} you end up like me... name address and phone number complete with google map and street view of my house, jump over to the county's web site and you can look the house's tax value for the last 10 years. Stupid public information.. although it does come in handy when purchasing a house {saved me 13k}. The county won't take down the property information, I guess it's cheaper than making everyone request it in hard copy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I hear that when you get a Silicon Valley job your Google profile is very important. Well, there are lines of work where the exact opposite is true, it has become a struggle NOT to exist and keep your data private.

    It used to be that I searched for my name and I was top spot, quite proud of it. I've since wise up. Luckily a huge influx of Facebook idiots have the same name and my results are buried. Some mailing lists posts and computer security research results are particularly pesky.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      I hear that when you get a Silicon Valley job your Google profile is very important. Well, there are lines of work where the exact opposite is true, it has become a struggle NOT to exist and keep your data private.

      Is that much of a problem if the results about me are under my control? I could easily remove the Linked In profile (2nd result) and my personal website (1st result).

      The guy with the same name as me, and the Github username to match, could easily be confused. He even likes the same music. When I first saw that result (about a year ago) I wondered if I'd already registered for Github and forgotten about it.

    • by telchine (719345)

      It used to be that I searched for my name and I was top spot, quite proud of it. I've since wise up. Luckily a huge influx of Facebook idiots have the same name and my results are buried

      This is exactly my experience!

      So much so I'm worried this Anonymous Coward may have stolen my identity! :-O

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      For some reason, before I was wily enough to know that it was a good idea, I started my posting life on usenet using a nick rather than my real name. Given some of the things I posted over the years, I'm eternally grateful for this.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @05:37PM (#44302765) Homepage Journal

    Is very common. I'm more common than dirt.

    This presents a problem, should I get down to writing as there are known authors with all or part of my name. I'll have to sub parts or develop a pen name.

    Anonymous J. Coward

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      Is very common. I'm more common than dirt.

      My name is only common in relatively small parts of the world, yet there's enough people with exactly the same age that I'm very far down the list when I google myself.

      However, I managed to get a gmail account relatively early so I seem to get mail for every other person with my name.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      im the exact opposite. my full name isn't very common, but there's one semi-pro surfer/skateboarder and he takes up all the results. i'm sure it's also partly due to my antisocial tendencies, and almost religious use of false information, such that I don't show up, at all. My wife of course is the exact opposite,using her real name all over the place as if she never learned what anonymity is (granted, she's a singer, so she kinda needs her name out there).

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        Perhaps you mean non-social or unsocial tendencies. Antisocial tendencies typically put you at the top of the rankings.

  • I don't usually go by my full, middle, and last name, but interestingly my M.S. Thesis from 1985 comes up. Nice to know it's still out there somewhere.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I don't usually go by my full, middle, and last name, but interestingly my M.S. Thesis from 1985 comes up. Nice to know it's still out there somewhere.

      Probably been patented by someone and used to clobber competition...

  • Patents . . . (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @06:27PM (#44303357)

    I try to stay quite anonymous on the Internet. But the one thing that I can't avoid are the patents with my name on them. So anyone wanting to dig up some dirt on me could at least find out where I live (or lived) and who I work (or worked) for.

    So that is the one thing that prevents me from disappearing from the face of the planet.

    • by felipekk (1007591)

      And that, folks, is reason number 4.742.038.116 why patents are bad.

  • by methano (519830) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @06:41PM (#44303517)
    A guy with my name is a pitcher for the New York Yankees, so that priest in England and I have just about disappeared into the background.
  • All I get are a bunch of mug shots from various locales, most notably Salt Lake City and Reno.

    I gotta work on my methhead look if I want to blend in with the rest of them!
  • by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @06:55PM (#44303681) Homepage Journal

    before the football player became famous, the results for my name were mainly for a porn star.

  • I keep myself completely off of the Net. All I find is press articles about me.
  • Uh-oh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pathwalker (103) <> on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @07:44PM (#44304073) Homepage Journal

    If I start typing my full name, Google autocompletes with "murders"...

  • by hutsell (1228828) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @08:18PM (#44304311) Homepage

    What did people do before the Internet? In a scene from a movie about the cartoonist Harvey Pekar, the actor portraying him in American Splendor [] (Paul Giamatti) does a 3 minute soliloquy about his name being listed in telephone books more than once and its somewhat disconcerting affects. Apparently, it's a social activity independent of present technology.

  • Some dumbarse actor stole my name and he's the only one that comes up on the first page. I'm top of the second page though!

  • If I use my full name, the top result on google is actually me and it's an information site that shows me linked to my mother and sister and the town I live in (but not current address). Paying would probably reveal that info.

    If I shorten my first name (Josh) and don't use middle, none of the results are me.
  • Turns out I helped run the Clinton campaign. Who'd have thought?

  • There are a few other people with my name, and now that the internet is more ubiquitous, some of them actually have some meaningful online presence. Since I don't post on Facebook much, the Facebook result that comes up in the first page of Google results is somebody else. Still, though, more than 80% of the first several pages of results on my firstname+lastname are about me. It was more extreme 10 years ago, when there was the small insurance company that got one result, a college football player with a c
  • My personal site used to come up as the top hit for a Google search for "Steve Foerster" (with quotes). Now it's not there at all, because someone sent Google a DMCA takedown notice. Evidently the WordPress theme I used had an image in it that its designed had cribbed from someone's photobucket account, or something like that. I changed the theme, and one of these days will get around to sending Google a challenge notice. But what a mess -- if the copyright holder had simply told me, which would have ta

  • It takes some effort to get a "clean" search, because Google tracks your searches and activity, whether or not you are logged in. This results eventually in links pertaining to YOU getting placed higher in the rankings, than they would for other people who search for your name. You might have to use somebody else's computer, or anonymous mode, to get a realistic look at where you come up in search results.

    • Who uses Google? I use DuckDuckGo and Ixquick for my general search engines. Only if I can't find what I'm looking for there do I use Google.

      Staying on topic, apparently people with my name include at least one convicted sex offender, and some dead people.
      Without my middle name, there are musicians, actors, academics, and various others.

      My name is as common as muck.

  • I saw a bunch of stuff from people with the same name. In the past, I found some old dumb question I'd asked on a tech mailing list, but now all I see is the other people.

  • I have a largely unique last name. If I Google firstname lastname, I get two about me on the front page, one bio from my current prime client and a thing I helped write decades ago about connecting modems to hotel telephone lines; then pages and pages about my brother the writer and my father the (late) senior scientist.

  • I used to be up there in the search results, but not anymore. I've been on the WWW a while and a lot of the top matches for my name used to be random mailing list posts of mine. (And back then we always used nicknames for sites like this one, so no old forum posts are tied to my actual name.) Now there's a prominent politician from Massachusetts with my name and a lawyer in a big city so you have to dig to find me. (And you won't even know I'm me, because another guy with my name works in my field.) And the

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @05:20PM (#44312051) Homepage Journal

    middle name is ');
    last name is Drop table users

    Searching Google for my full name resulted in nothing, just whitespace from google.

  • Now luckily, a folk singer with the same name as me, died an early and tragic death. Kind of makes a smokescreen for me.
  • If I search for my full name I get some publications by me. If I search first name last name I get nothing a bunch of other people.
  • One thing you'll find quickly is my wikipedia entry; where you'll find that I died some time ago. If you dig around long enough you might also find that some stupid kid thought it would be funny to use my name on some stupid obscure website where they talk about apple gadgets and goatse.
  • To my knowledge there is not a single other person on the planet with my full name, even excluding middle names.

  • by W. Justice Black (11445) on Thursday July 18, 2013 @02:35AM (#44315211) Homepage

    I decided to go by "BJ Black" when I was 7 years old--years before I realized that Googling that would result in interracial porn.

    Nowadays, Google is smart enough to SEO me as the top hit and (relatively) safe sites behind that. For interracial porn, you have to do an image search with safesearch off.

  • If I search my name on Google, I get hits from my firm's website. If I search any other search engine, I am nowhere to be found. Google knows my IP address, so they give me pages about myself. If I search Google on my phone using the mobile network, it's all other people with the same name (my phone is not linked to my Google account). Just because Google serves you up as the first hit for your name, don't assume that everyone else is seeing the same results.

  • Just to be on the safe side I always register my name on every popular social network and then I leave it blank.

    This way if anyone searches for me it receives the correct result full of nothing.

  • Lots of stuff about me. Then a Wikipedia entry on a serial killer with my same name and birthday... I'm sure it's interesting when employers Google that.

  • Thanks to my parents' decision to go with a hyphenated last name, my full name is (as far as I can tell) globally unique. This is actually a great thing for me, since I'm in academia and it's best if people can just google my name and find papers I've written etc.

  • It's not me, honest! I am not zombie posting.

  • If you google for my name , either full or with middle, I am the only one that turns up in America with that name.
    In europe it is a different story, as my last name is the equivalent of "smith" over there.

  • And I am it. There has never been, nor is there likely to ever be another with my name - the given name is very common, but the surname is rare enough.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.


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